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Explorer of the Seas a big season opener at Nanaimo

Explorer of the Seas a big season opener at Nanaimo
An inaugural call by Royal Caribbean International's Explorer of the Seas will open Nanaimo, BC's cruise season on May 18. The 138,000gt cruise ship will be the largest ever to visit the Vancouver Island port and is the largest Alaska passenger vessel.

Explorer of the Seas' visit will be part of a five-day round-trip from the Port of Seattle that also calls at Victoria.  

Nanaimo Port Authority president and ceo Bernie Dumas said passengers will be taking local and regional shore excursions to the Alberni and Cowichan valleys including the Parksville-Qualicum area. As passengers arrive at the cruise ship terminal, they'll be greeted by Tourism Nanaimo personnel and pointed to opportunities with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in red serge, the Big Tub and displays of racing tubs from the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society.

Passengers also can visit a farmer’s market in the Pioneer Waterfront Plaza and a Classic Car Show in Diana Krall Plaza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free shuttles transport visitors from the cruise terminal through downtown with its museums, galleries, eateries and walking tours. Cannons will be fired at the historic Bastion at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

Dumas said each cruise call has an immediate economic impact of more than $250,000 in the region.

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